Hi Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

We celebrated the way we do every year — by doing precisely nothing to mark the day. However, the weekend was full of nice surprises. It poured rain yesterday, for instance, and I took a nap with Kaya. It felt so decadent to be lying in bed listening to the rain and dozing off. The temperatures dropped dramatically (it is now in the low 70s after a week in the 90s), so blankets are back, which is just delicious. I even woke up and read awhile before getting out of the bed. Bliss.

The grass and weeds in the garden are shoulder high in places, and you know that our pathways are very narrow, so when the garden is wet, it is difficult to navigate without getting soaked at least to the knee. I put on a pair of shorts this morning before venturing out to do some garden work and marveled at how nice it felt to have wet grass brushing up against my legs. Feeling a pair of jeans becoming progressively more sodden until they are clinging to your legs in a cold embrace is depressing. Feeling the leaves against your skin and the water beading up and rolling down your legs is a celebration of the good parts of being outdoors.

Osman and Dudu slaughtered a goat this weekend and offered to sell us some of the meat. Ali went off while I was napping yesterday and returned with a 3 1/2 kilo haunch! It is nice, clean meat and I am grateful to have it. I cut the meat from the bone, leaving a leg and a shoulder the way they were. They’re in the freezer waiting for you to arrive! I’ve got a pot of stock from the bones, too, that I think will be nice for soup noodle.

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The mulberry tree is fruiting, and pretty heavily at that. Between the fruit and the rain, some of the branches drooped all the way to the ground. Of course, this is the nice thing about young trees — they are still small enough to be able to reach up into them with your feet on the ground. We had two big bowls at the end of our picking session, even with Kaya on my back, eating every other one. I made a mulberry cobbler with creme anglaise (Ali has been collecting eggs but not eating them, so we have about 20. This made 7 egg yolks seem not like an extravagance, but a blessing. I will be making meringues for Baki tonight with all of those whites). This reminded me that last year we discovered together that they somehow get tastier when you cook them. I hope that you will make it here in time to have some — there are plenty more still on the tree.

The red rose is mostly finished, but there are lots of other flowers popping up everywhere. And when I say popping up, I do mean that they are emerging in unexpected places. There are the sweetpeas that self seeded again, and snapdragons are also opening up everywhere. And look what I saw when I went to pick a sprig of rosemary from that plant we put up by the pecan tree (which is very big now, and will meet with your approval I am sure):

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It looks like someone found that passion flower before I did and took a bite.

There was a sad sight waiting for me when I got back to the apartment — one of the new chicks died. They are a week old now, and down to 17 in number. I am not sure what killed that one — the others look pretty healthy as far as I can tell. We’ll see how they fare.

Still, I hope that there will be more good news when I call Ankara tomorrow to ask about your visa. It is high time you joined us and enjoyed all of these pleasant surprises alongside us!